Sunday, April 30, 2006
The San Antonio Express news covered this march in a tiny 2 inch paragraph on page 8A.
The Kerrville peace march was not covered at all. Granted it was small, but it is news nonetheless. It was interesting to be given the "finger" by elderly women, called a communist by others, and told by a white haired former marine that we were just hurting the troops. Amazing, that peace is such a frightening prospect to so many. We did have much more positive support than before, according to the folks that arranged this march.
For a video of the NY march go here
Friday, April 28, 2006
MyDD :: A Letter to the Verizon/AT&T FiveA law that passed in a House Committee today lets them. It's a little more complicated than that, but that's the gist. Pretty soon your broadband provider will be allowed to block Google, Vonage, or your favorite blog if a competitor pays them, if they develop a competing service, or if they just don't like you. This sort of undermines the whole internet thing, and I'm fighting against it. More info is at Savetheinternet.com. These five people I'm highlighting are the Democrats who voted against a free internet, and I'd like you to call them up and let them know that their vote against the Markey Amendment (that's what the amendment was called) is simply outrageous. They need to know people are mad.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Now, word again, that our wounded veterans are being dunned to pay debts to Uncle Sam. IMHO, if you lost your health due to battlefield injuries, I say you owe the feds NOTHING, NADA, ZIPPO!
In the WAPO 4/27/06, an article by Donna St. George noted the following:
Nearly 900 soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan have been saddled with government debts as they have recovered from war, according to a report that describes collection notices going out to veterans with brain damage, paralysis, lost limbs and shrapnel wounds.
The report from the Government Accountability Office, to be released at a hearing today, details how long-recognized problems with military computer systems led to the soldiers being dunned for an array of debts related to everything from errors in paychecks to equipment left behind on the battlefield.
The problem came to light last year, as soldiers' complaints began to surface and several lawmakers became involved. The GAO had been investigating other pay problems caused by the defense accounting system and was asked by Congress to investigate debts among the battle-wounded.
The new report shows a problem more widespread than previously known.
"We found that hundreds of separated battle-injured soldiers were pursued for collection of military debts incurred through no fault of their own," the report said.
"It's unconscionable," said Ryan Kelly, 25, a retired staff sergeant who lost a leg to a roadside bomb and then spent more than a year trying to fend off a debt of $2,231.
Kelly recalled the day in 2004 when, months after learning to walk on a prosthesis, he opened his mailbox to find a letter saying he was in debt to the government -- and in jeopardy of referral to a collection agency. "It hits you in the gut," he said. "It's like, 'Thanks for your service, and now you owe us.' "
The underlying problem is an antiquated computer system for paying and tracking members of the military. Pay records are not integrated with personnel records, creating numerous errors. When soldiers leave the battlefield, for example, they lose a pay differential, but the system can take time to lower their pay.
The government then tries to recoup overpayments, docking pay for active-duty troops and sending debt notices to those who have left the military. Eventually, the government sends private agencies to collect debts and notifies credit bureaus.
The computer system is so broken that 400 soldiers killed in action were listed as owing money to the government, although no debt notices were sent, the report said.
A total of $1.5 million in debts has been linked to the 400 fallen soldiers and 900 wounded troops. Of the total, $124,000 has been repaid. The government has waived $959,000, and the remainder is still owed.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Parque Infantil Miguel Hidalgo
It's hard to make ends meet any more. Gas prices have doubled, as have the costs of everything else. We give our kids gas money because their paychecks don't stretch enough to cover the cost of getting to school or work. I am sure with the next semester of college, books will be more expensive and we will pitch in for that. Sadly, sigh, where does it end? It's like living with Reaganomics all over again, and that was hard. However, we could at least buy "gasohol" then, at half the price of gas and still get to work...and car pooling. Now we can do neither. I guess we will survive on ground meat, starches and casseroles. It's tough.
Selling out here and buying a dairy farm in Aguas Calientes state in Mexico looks better and better.
This should get even more interesting as time goes by...
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
George Bush doesn't care about black people
When the President Talks to God
Rep. Charles A. Gonzalez(against net neutrality)
Democrat representing Texas's 20th district
Call Rep. Gonzalez now at 202-225-3236 tell us about your call
Say: "Please keep the Internet free and open. Vote for enforceable network neutrality requirements. Thank you." A concerned constituent called and reported: "The person answering phone at San Antonio and DC offices did not know congressman's position."
Call Charlie and tell him why net neutrality is important!
Push to cut Benefits for Vets who get VA and Social Security Compensation
Vets’ Commission Chair, General Terry Scott wants to study if vets should get VA compensation and Social Security disability at the same time with the aim of reducing benefits. In an unconstitutional move, he asks Congress to interpret its own law so he would have the power to launch study.
Larry Scott notes: The next step in dismantling veterans’ benefits could be a payment reduction, known as an offset, for veterans receiving disability compensation and Social Security.
The Veterans’ Disability Benefits Commission (VDBC) was established by Public Law 108-136 and signed into being by President Bush in November 2003. The VDBC’s charter states they are to study “whether a veteran’s disability or death should be compensated” and at what level if any.
Since the VDBC was first established it was obvious to veterans and veterans’ service organizations (VSOs) that the Commission had one thing in mind and that was cutting veterans’ benefits. The VDBC is made up of 13 political appointees. Four were appointed by Democratic Members of Congress, four more by Republican Members and the other five by President Bush. The VDBC is truly a 9-4 politically-stacked deck even though they like to refer to themselves as bipartisan. The legality of the VDBC has been questioned by some VSOs.
As the VDBC’s meetings progressed, veterans began to notice a “secretive” quality to the workings of the Commission. Last fall the VDBC issued a list of questions they would study. They asked for input and gave veterans just a few days, over a Holiday weekend, to respond. The questions signaled the direction of the VDBC. One question was: “Does the disability benefit provided affect a veteran’s incentive to work?”
Now, “secretive” has taken on a new meaning. In a recent editorial written by Arthur H. Wilson, National Adjutant for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) we find: “Optimism was in short supply at the Commission’s March 16-17 meeting as some of its members maneuvered to authorize collecting data about Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits paid to veterans who also receive VA disability compensation. That was done with a view toward an offset [reduction] of disability insurance if the veteran receives disability compensation from the VA.”
Wilson continues: “A move to sidestep proper procedures and hold a secret ballot on the matter was postponed, but the issue is expected to resurface at the commission’s meeting in May. If so, it could lay the groundwork for cutting or eliminating veterans’ benefits as a way of saving the government money. The idea that disability compensation is some kind of income security or welfare program cheapens the service and sacrifice of disabled veterans. That kind of thinking might also open the door to cutting off VA compensation when a disabled veteran becomes eligible for Social Security retirement benefits. Veterans’ benefits are separate and distinct from Social Security, so receiving payments under both programs is not dual compensation for the same disability, as some have tried to argue.”
It appears the VDBC is about evenly split on the idea of studying the SSDI issue. But the Chairman, retired Army Lt. General Terry Scott, is adamant about getting this on the agenda and wants the power to move forward. And, he wants the help of Congress to push his agenda. Scott has taken the liberty of writing to Congress asking them to interpret their own law that established the VDBC.
This presents a problem. It is unconstitutional for Congress to interpret its own laws. Congress passes laws and the courts interpret them. But, this hasn’t stopped General Scott.
In an email to the House and Senate Armed Services and Veterans’ Affairs Committees, General Scott writes: “Some Commissioners believe that this charge [the VDBC’s charter] should be interpreted broadly to mean all related benefits received by disabled veterans under the laws of the United States to include…SSDI payments…the Chairman would appreciate clarification of the intent of Congress in writing or in person during the next Commission public meeting May 19, 2006”
General Scott’s unconstitutional request has raised major concerns among the VSOs. Christopher J. Clay, General Counsel for the DAV, has written to the four Chairmen involved. In part, Clay’s letter states: “…[General Scott’s] request, if honored…would violate one of the fundamental principles which have guided the government of the United States for more than 200 years. That principle is the separation of powers…Congress exercises the sole power to enact laws while the Judicial and Executive Branches have the power to say what those laws mean…neither a committee of either the House or Senate nor the full Congress may interpret a statute after it is enacted, without passing a new law…The DAV is unaware of any precedent for the congressional interpretations requested by the Commission Chairman. If the Committee responds to the Chairman’s inquiry, it will set a precedent that the courts are no longer the sole arbiters of disputes over our laws.”
Now, veterans play the waiting game. Will any of the four Congressional Committees respond to General Scott’s request and interpret their own law? Will General Scott get enough votes from VDBC members to push ahead with his idea to study a Social Security offset (reduction) for veterans’ disability compensation? We will know by May 19.
But, what we don’t have to wait for is the fact that General Terry Scott and other members of the VDBC want to cut veterans’ benefits and will try to hold secret votes and try to get Congress to, unconstitutionally, interpret its own laws.
General Scott must be reminded that veterans’ disability compensation is not welfare. It is not to be confused with welfare. It is not to be confused with any other sort of compensation. Veterans receive disability compensation because they earned it. Many earned it on the field of battle. They don’t deserve to lose it in a Commission hearing.
Authors Website: http://www.vawatchdog.org
How to call congress today
Go here for information on proposed changes to the internet.
How gutting Net Neutrality : affects regular people (Ipod users, Google users), and proof that telecom companies abuse their power.
Our coalition MySpace profile video explanation
Coalition blog with good recent developments
A key committee is voting this week. Click here to see if your Representative is on this committee:
Find out where your member stands
The best response to Bush's latest attempt to mollify voters? Barbara Mikulski who asked: "What happened to Iraq oil, Mr. President? You said Iraqi oil would pay for the war. Ain't seen no money. Ain't seen no oil."
So, the solution to the gas prices is to give the producers free reign to ruin the environment? What about developing alternative energy, you know a REAL plan? Oh wait, that would require someone with a) a brain, and b) concern for how we leave the planet for our children and grandchildren.
Before a wildly enthusiastic crowd of hundreds at Faneuil Hall yesterday, US Senator John F. Kerry exhorted Americans to speak out against the war in Iraq, declaring that troops are dying because of what he called an inept and deceitful policy orchestrated by the Bush administration.
It was the 35th anniversary of the day Kerry, as a young Navy veteran returning from the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, famously asking, ''How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"
Kerry's case yesterday was much the same: that Americans have a duty to speak out against a war that is sacrificing lives on the ''altar of stubborn pride."
''Presidents and politicians may worry about losing face or losing votes or losing their legacy; it is time to think about young Americans and innocent civilians who are losing their lives," Kerry said, to a thunderous standing ovation.
And then the Republicans rear their ugly heads.
Matt Wylie, executive director of the Massachusetts Republican Party, dismissed Kerry's criticism.How in the world can the Repugnants even come up with this kind of crap? Why would speaking out against the war in Iraq be considered bizarre behavior? Gosh, guess if you don't agree with Bush you are open to be smeared any way they can do it. I say, thanks Kerry for speaking the truth.
''John Kerry has been acting bizarrely ever since he lost the election for president," Wylie said yesterday. ''Today's speech is another strange step in that direction. There has never been a time in our nation's history when so many people freely gave dissenting opinions about the nation's policies from both ends of the political spectrum. John Kerry should hop on the Internet, and he'll see there is a dialogue about all the positions going on in America today."
All of us need to speak truth to power and get out and demonstrate not only on April 29th, but also on June 2nd (date of the bomb test in Nevada).
Monday, April 24, 2006
Pentagon officials apologized to members of Congress yesterday for generatingI don't believe a word of it! The Bush administration can't keep denying things and calling them "mistakes" or whatever, and expect the American public to continually buy this B.S.
fears about an unusual military experiment to detonate 700 tons of explosives in
the Nevada desert in June, and they said the test was not designed to simulate a
low-yield nuclear explosion, even though government budget documents had
described it that way.
Read it in WAPO
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Thanks Jools Holland for having Faithless on the show. Love the song, the lyrics and the group.
For more information: Lyrics
[Chorus] Whether long range weapon or suicide bomber Wicked mind is a weapon of
mass destruction Whether you're soar away sun or BBC 1 Misinformation is a ... www.lyricspremium.com/display.php?id=12439
More search results for Faithless Mass Destruction lyrics »
Buy songiTunes Music Store - $0.99
AOL Music Now - $0.99
Napster - $0.99
Sony Connect - $0.99
Check out the absolutely brilliant reporter who asks...one of the songs is "lets impeach the president" what does that mean? BINGO! Sweetie pie, you get the stupid award for the year.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is why we don't have real news today.
As for Neil Young...I have always loved his music, but now, I love it MORE! The music will be rolled out soon. So watch for more.
Truthdig - Reports - Playing President: "Playing president is not a book title selected casually, but a distilled opinion gleaned over forty years of journalism, covering our most important democratic exercise. After decades spent interviewing dozens of leading presidential candidates, including those who ended up in the highest office, I came to the conclusion that the process endured in obtaining electoral power tends to be the controlling influence on the candidate�s behavior once in office. "
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Can the USA run without Mexicans? Who will mow your lawn, pick your lettuce, stock the grocery shelves, clean your office? A Mexican of course. Why is this a problem now? Because Sensenbrenner, Bush and corporate America say so. If it had been such a problem before now, the US Govt would have enforced the Immigration Act of 1986, which I have not seen enforced since 1987!
I see it as divisive and racist, on purpose. You see, we are dumbing down our schools, so where will our kids and grandkids work when there are no more Wal-mart of McD's jobs? Picking lettuce and mowing lawns. Corporate america will have succeed in keeping down wages, union busting, and the middle class will be gone.
Check out A Day Without A Mexican, the movie to get an idea of how it could be on May 1st when immigrants in the US and Mexico boycott the US. I say GO FOR IT you guys! Teach the US and corporate america a lesson.
...And yes, we have some proud Mexican immigrants in my family. However, my ancestors are Irish...remember the days when Irish need not apply for a job? Surely they taught you that in history class? It's a game played by the rich so that some poor schmuck immigrant group must always be at the bottom of the totem pole. Irish, Chinese, Polish, now Mexicans...the list will be endless until we see the value of the melting pot that we live in. [After all, you do like the food that immigrants bring to this country, right? Well, they bring a lot more value that that!]
China has become successful because the Chinese people are experience the freedom to buy, and to sell, and to produce -- and China can grow even more successful by allowing the Chinese people the freedom to assemble, to speak freely, and to worship.
Seconds later, one of the people assembled on the White House south lawn actually tried to speak freely right here in America -- about both the lack of free speech and religious freedom in China.
That free-speaking woman was promptly hauled off and arrested.
What a country that we live in! What an example to the Chinese president, hooh boy!
A big earthquake with the strength of 8.1 on the Richter scale has hit Mexico.
Two million Mexicans have died and over a million are injured.
The country is totally ruined and the government doesn't know where to start with providing help to rebuild..
The rest of the world is in shock.
Canada is sending troopers to help the Mexican army control the riots.
Saudi Arabia is sending oil.
Other Latin American countries are sending supplies.
The European community (except France) is sending food and money.
The United States, not to be outdone, is sending two million replacement Mexicans.
God Bless America!!
Thanks to my brother-in-law, a proud US citizen, formerly from Mexico, for this joke.
The authors Glen Ford and Peter Gamble make an excellent point. Many of us have watched the disenfranchisement of African Americans in Katrina stricken areas, and sadly it continues, as they now lose their voting rights as well.
This Saturday’s elections in New Orleans represent yet another element of the vast crime committed against Black America. With as many as 300,000 residents, overwhelmingly African American, strewn about the country in government-engineered exile, the elections are an insult to the very idea of democracy, and to the dignity of all Black people.
This farcical exercise in faux democracy will no doubt be followed by corporate media declarations that New Orleans is returning to “normalcy” – the same term that the media bandied about when the city held a shrunken Mardi Gras, in February.
Apparently, Bush and Co., the crime family, have found the perfect way to totally eliminate New Orleans so that they can turn it into a Disneyesque version of New Orleans...white, clean, homogenous and made in their own right-wing image. This is a national tragedy, and a horrible precedent. What will be the next community that they remake in their white-washed image?
It was heartening to read that some Katrina survivors have become more political, and that they may be many new Fanny Lou Hamer's out there, working for change. I know I hope so. Perhaps what will develop with be a Black Caucus with great power and a big, big voice. I hope so. Count me in to help!
By Kevin Phillips,The Nation, 01 May 2006 Issue
Is theocracy in the United States (1) a legitimate fear, as some liberals argue; (2) a joke, given the nation's rising secular population and moral laxity; (3) a worrisome bias of major GOP constituencies and pressure groups; or (4) all of the above? The last, I would argue.
The essential US conditions for a theocratic trend fell into place in the late 1980s and '90s with the growing mass of evangelical, fundamentalist and Pentecostal Christianity, expressed politically by the religious right; and the rise of the Republican Party as a powerful vehicle for religious policy-making and eventual erosion of the accepted degree of separation between church and state. This transformation was most vivid at the state level, where fifteen to twenty state Republican parties came under the control of the religious right, and party conventions in the South and West endorsed so-called "Christian nation" platforms. As yet nationally uncatalogued-a shortfall that cries out for a serious research project-these platforms set out in varying degrees the radical political theology of the Christian Reconstructionist movement, ranging from the Bible as the basis for domestic law to an emphasis on religious schools and women's subordination to men. The 2004 platform of the Texas Republican Party is a case in point.
Worth reading the entire article, and I think, Phillip's new book American Theocracy : The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21stCentury. It is available on Amazon.com and Audible.com.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
The July exercise may have real-world consequences since Iran could interpret it as evidence the United States plans to attack, said Khalid al-Rodhan, an Iran expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
"Anything the U.S. will do in the region will be seen as further provocation," al-Rodhan said. "Given what's happening in Iraq, it's clear the Iranians are afraid of U.S. intentions."
In the meantime, the Pentagon is also collecting and interpreting photos and other intelligence data about Iran's facilities, developing weapons to attack hardened targets and laying the policy groundwork for a possible strike, Gen. John Abizaid, head of U.S. Central Command, said in recent congressional testimony.
Add to this the Divine Straker scenario with testing in June, and just when do you think we might invade Iraq? Well, at least before the 2006 elections, if not sooner. They (Bush & Co.) must rule us through fear, to get us to keep believing they will protect us. How better to up his lousy poll ratings?
The question remains, how amazingly stupid are the American people?
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
In this article Richard Clarke and Steven Simon note that "a conflict with Iran could be even more damaging to our interests than the current struggle in Iraq has been." In this article they review US history with Iran and state the following:
American frustrations with Iran were growing, and in early 1996 the House speaker, Newt Gingrich, publicly called for the overthrow of the Iranian government. He and the C.I.A. put together an $18 million package to undertake it.
The Iranian legislature responded with a $20 million initiative for its intelligence organizations to counter American influence in the region... Iranian agents began casing American embassies and other targets around the world. In June 1996, the Qods Force...arranged the bombing of an apartment building used by our Air Force in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, killing 19 Americans.
Response from the Clinton administration in published reports "suggest that the United States responded with a chilling threat to the Tehran government and conducted a global operation that immobilized Iran's intelligence service. Iranian terrorism against the United States ceased...In essence, both sides looked down the road of conflict and chose to avoid further hostilities...
Now, as in the mid-90's, any United States bombing campaign would simply begin a multi-move, escalatory process." This could cause oil prices to spike as high as $80 per barrell...Second and more likely, Iran could use its terrorist network to strike American targets around the world, including inside the United States.
Third, Iran is in a position to make our situation in Iraq far more difficult than it already is. The Badr Brigade and other Shiite militias in Iraq could launch a more deadly campaign against British and American troops. There is every reason to believe that Iran has such a retaliatory shock wave planned and ready...the question that would face American planners would be, "What's our next move?" How do we achieve so-called escalation dominance, the condition in which the other side fears responding because they know that the next round of American attacks would be too lethal for the regime to survive?... President Bush would most likely authorize wider and more intensive bombing...So how would bombing Iran serve American interests? In over a decade of looking at the question, no one has ever been able to provide a persuasive answer...But the current level of activity in the Pentagon suggests more than just standard contingency planning or tactical saber-rattling.
The parallels to the run-up to to war with Iraq are all too striking: remember that in May 2002 President Bush declared that there was "no war plan on my desk" despite having actually spent months working on detailed plans for the Iraq invasion. Congress did not ask the hard questions then. It must not permit the administration to launch another war whose outcome cannot be known, or worse, known all too well.
As I noted earlier, the prospect of escalation in the Middle East is a frightening. The planned test bomb in June, I fear, will merely promote escalation from Iran. Where is our country going? Stop the merry-go-round Mr. Bush, it's time to get off and develop a SANE not INSANE policy. Then add to that his new "Decider" idea, and his mistaken belief that Rumsfeld is actually doing a good job, while his administration smears those retired Pentagon Generals who are now speaking out. These guys war game all the time, they know consequences, Bush and Co. know shit from consequences. The prospects for our nation are so daunting and so very, very frightening.
Look at the names of the devices as listed:
Further explained in the article as: DIVINE STRAKE is one of several "DIVINE" efforts under the Hard and Deeply Buried Target Defeat (HDBTD) program. DIVINE WARHAWK consists of deep underground operational tunnel facility defeat demonstrations using advanced weapons at the White Sands Missile Range. DIVINE HELCAT was a 2004 reconstitution exercise to determine reconstitution time for the C3I tunnel facility at Nevada Test Site (NTS). Also in 2004 planning began for DIVINE HATES, which is a WMD production and storage tunnel complex functional defeat effort.
Worse, are the "divine" bombs to be used in the quest to bring on Armageddon in the middle east? This just scares the hell out of me!
I just noted something I missed in the article, the definitions of divine and strake, which should scare the hell out of you even more.
Divine: Having the nature of or being a deity. Of, relating to, emanating from, or being the expression of a deity: sought divine guidance through meditation. Being in the service or worship of a deity; sacred. Superhuman; godlike. Supremely good or beautiful; magnificent: a divine performance of the concerto. Extremely pleasant; delightful: had a divine time at the ball. Heavenly; perfect.
Strake: A device for controlling air flow over an aircraft. A strake is also a part of a boat or ship used for generally the same purpose in water rather than air. It is a strip of planking in a wooden vessel or of plating in a metal one, running longitudinally along the vessel's side, its bottom or between them on the turn of the bilge.
They just lit the doobie at the wrong end! LOL.
Firefighters stumble on basement marijuana farm
Associated Press in Ohio
Tuesday April 18, 2006
US firefighters tackling a blaze in an attic were confused when the man they had thought was the owner of the house suddenly left - until they found $700,000 (£400,000) worth of marijuana plants in the basement.
"If it were my home burning, I'd want to be there," said Fire Chief Ralph Copley of Wadsworth, Ohio. After extinguishing the fire early on Friday, officers found 239 marijuana plants filling a quarter of the basement.
Investigators from the federal drug enforcement administration were trying to find two people who left the house. The cause of the fire was unknown.
Monday, April 17, 2006
Orwell's Grave: Why I Saved My First Kiss for Marriage
This blog is right on the mark. Abstinence only won't work. Any of us that are no longer teenagers can certainly remember what it was like to be a teenager, and how strong our urges were. If we don't then we are in total denial. We should be teaching not only the virtues of abstinence, but be realistic enough to teach about contraception, and more, covering all the issues of sexuality. If we don't we are lying to ourselves and our children.
Wow, guess 1/2 of the country did not get their sleeping pills renewed....what in the world woke them up...the LIES? Slow on the uptake you guys!
Friday, April 14, 2006
The interview is concerned with suppression of science by the Bush administration. Examples found in the House Government Reform Committee (pdf document) included suppression over a wide range of agencies and policy areas including the following:
- Manipulation of scientific advisory committees: appointing unqualified persons with industry ties and/or ideological agendas; stacking advisory committees; opposing qualified experts
- Distorting and suppressing scientific information by doing the following: including misleading information in presidential communications; presenting incomplete and inaccurate information to Congress; altering web sites; suppressing agency reports
- Interfering with scientific research
Another example of the way in which our country is being manipulated by religious whackos and neocons, each with their own scary agenda.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
This is what I want to put in the header: Martin Niemoeller wrote:
In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me and by that time no one was left to speak up!
A Marine reservist returning home after eight months in Iraq was told he couldn't board a plane to Minneapolis because his name appeared on a watch list as a possible terrorist.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Brown, who was in uniform and returning from the war Tuesday with 26 other Marine military police reservists, was delayed briefly in Los Angeles until the issue was cleared up.
The other reservists arrived at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as scheduled, but instead of immediately meeting their families, they waited on a bus for Brown.
"We don't leave anybody behind," 1st Sgt. Drew Benson said. "We start together, and we finish together."
Brown, 32, arrived more than an hour later. He had also had airport trouble when he was trying to go to Iraq — and he missed his plane then as well.
"A guy goes over and serves his country fighting for eight or nine months, and then we come home and put up with this?" he asked.
Nico Melendez, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, said Wednesday he could not confirm or deny whether someone was on a watch list. He said Brown's case should have been fairly easy for the airline to clear up in Los Angeles.
"It should have taken 10 minutes," he said. "We do regret that an American hero was inconvenienced."
AT&T provided National Security Agency eavesdroppers with full access to its customers' phone calls, and shunted its customers' internet traffic to data-mining equipment installed in a secret room in its San Francisco switching center, according to a former AT&T worker cooperating in the Electronic Frontier Foundation's lawsuit against the company.
This just makes me angry and scared. If they have secret rooms in San Francisco, where else do they have them and who are they spying on? This is getting to be like an episode of The Prisoner or a George Orwell novel. This is NOT the country I grew up in! It's not the one I served in the military either. Read more here
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
There is also the question of legality to be considered.
Any attack would be hard to justify. Jack Straw told reporters recently: "I don't happen to believe that military action has a role to play in any event. We could not justify it under Article 51 of the UN charter which permits self-defence."
In the absence of Security Council approval, the US might argue that its interests in the Gulf were at stake and that its ally Israel was at risk.
The Bush crime family risks World War III. What in the heck are they thinking? We may be joining our sisters-in-law in Mexico before we know it. The state of Aguas Calientes is pretty nice.
Leading scientists have warned against the teaching of creationism in schools, saying pupils must be clear that science backs the theory of evolution.
The Royal Society's statement said some pupils may wish to "explore the compatibility, or otherwise, of science with various beliefs, and they should be encouraged to do so".
"However young people are poorly served by deliberate attempts to withhold, distort or misrepresent scientific knowledge and understanding in order to promote particular religious beliefs."
BBC NEWS | UK | Education | Creationism 'no place in schools'
Warren, president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and
Universities, who does not sit on the commission but has attended its meetings.
If included in the final report, several of the proposals "would
fundamentally undercut the commission's credibility," he said. "These would
include the dismantling of the current accreditation system, the demolition of
the federal student aid program, and the demotion of higher education to the
role of handmaiden to business needs."
This article reviews various proposals regarding the total revamping of funding at colleges and universities. It includes a proposal to test all college students, just like their counterparts in elementary school and high school are tested. It is alread obvious that testing and "no child left behind" is leaving millions of children behind, so why in the world would they consider this for colleges and universities? Look at it this way, soon only the rich will be able to go to college, the middle class will be gone, and we will all be working for corporate bosses, with no say about our working conditions. Next thing you know, we will be the illegal border crossers. Of course, dumbing down our education system will help corporations because the population will be too stupid to rise up because they won't understand the constitution, democracy, or their rights as citizens.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
LOL couldn't resist blogging this one!
Thursday, April 06, 2006
The head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement operations in Central Florida was arrested late Tuesday after exposing himself to a 16-year-old girl, according to Orlando police. Frank Figueroa, head of ICE's Tampa office, began fondling himself after catching the teen's eye in the upscale Millenia Mall an arrest report states. "The nature of Figueroa's actions do corrupt the public morals and outrage the sense of public decency," the report states. "Due to the small children in the area...Figueroa's actions did create a threat to the safety and well being of others." Charged with exposure of sexual organs and disorderly conduct...
At a press conference on the steps of the Sugar Land city hall, where Nick Lampson called on Tom DeLay to resign so a May 13th special election can be held to fill his seat, DeLay's goons showed up to harass, assault, and intimidate. A number of female Lampson supporters, including Marsha Rovai, a 69 year-old woman from Richmond, reported being pushed and shoved by belligerent DeLay goons at the event.link
Said Marsha Rovai, "I can't believe my Congressman, Tom DeLay, would organize this type of assault. I was assaulted by two different people. One of the men hit me and another shoved his sign into my face, and then when I pushed his sign away he violently pulled my hat down over my eyes and pushed me. I'm considering filing an assault charge. This is just very upsetting and I'm so disappointed in Tom Delay for organizing this attack."
Please stand with Marsha, and all the residents of TX-22, in demanding that Tom DeLay and his goons stop their campaign of intimidation.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
DeLay on causes of the Columbine High School massacre:
"Guns have little or nothing to do with juvenile violence. The causes of youth violence are working parents who put their kids into daycare, the teaching of evolution in the schools, and working mothers who take birth control pills."
What a moron! For more quotes: go here
Monday, April 03, 2006
“This week, radio commentator Rick Scarborough convened a two-day conference in Washington on the "War on Christians and the Values Voters in 2006." The opening session was devoted to "reports from the frontlines" on "persecution" of Christians in the United States and Canada, including an artist whose paintings were barred from a municipal art show in Deltona, Fla., because they contained religious themes.”
Persecution my Aunt Fanny! First of all, the majority of Americans are Christian; second, not all Christians subscribe to this fundamentalist brand of religion; third: how can a majority religion be persecuted? Oh, because many of us believe in the separation of church and state, as outlined in the US Constitution?
“Among the conference's speakers were former House majority leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) and Sens. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) and Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) as well as conservative Christian leaders Phyllis Schlafly, Rod Parsley, Gary Bauer, Janet Parshall and Alan Keyes.”
“DeLay discussed the "chattering classes" who think there is no war on Christians.
"We are after all a society that abides abortion on demand, that has killed millions of innocent children, that degrades the institution of marriage and often treats Christianity like some second-rate superstition. Seen from this perspective, of course there is a war on Cristianity," he said.”
DeLay should consider the log in his own eye, rather than the splinter he perceives in someone else’s! Who are the “chattering classes?” I guess that would be you and me, we who work for a living, and aren’t rich enough to be of the corporatist and rich classes. I do not take this insult lightly. My religion is a very private thing to me, and I do not appreciate being called names because my view of Christianity differs from his. I firmly repudiate his idea that there is a war on Christians, and I am appalled that he would consider me one of his “chattering classes.” That would mean that he is of what class? The rich, the powerful, the lying-to-get-ahead class? Sounds right to me. After all, wasn’t he recently indicted? Do good Christians commit crimes? Oh, wait….they will be forgiven when the rapture comes. Hogswallow! What ever happened to Christ and the new testament, the Sermon on the Mount?
Worth re-reading: The 14 defining characteristics of fascism by Dr. Lawrence Britt. link
By the way, Orthodox Easter is April 23rd. I will be remembering what Christianity is really about...and it's not all about money, fame, and getting stuff. It's about helping your neighbor, those less fortunate than you, and remembering that it is easier for a rich man to pass through the eye of a needle than to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
The poverty rate in 2003 rose to 12.5%, up from 12.1% in 2002. About 35.9 million people were poor in 2003, 1.3 million more than in 2002. Both the number and rate have risen for three consecutive years, from 31.6 million and 11.3% in 2000, to 35.9 million and 12.5% in 2003.link
A lot of folks wonder why the Democratic Party in Washington, D.C. seems to stand for nothing. Is it because the party is beholden to corporate interests? In many instances, yes. Is it because leaders in Washington of both parties are, by and large, wholly disconnected from the real world? That's a big part, too. But still, the lack of principles that wafts from the party in Washington is just too widespread for it to be some random, organic phenomenon. Put another way, there must be some organized, well-crafted strategy being implemented that keeps the Democrats' few voices of true opposition muted, and keeps the party as a whole stuck in the convictionless muck.
Now, I am no conspiracy theorist, and I tend to be suspicious of those who imply that a close-knit cabal of Democratic Party insiders in Washington have all sorts of secret plans. But if you look carefully at the public statements of many of the key players in this cabal, you don't need to be a conspiracy theorist to see that, in fact, gutting the party's conviction-based soul is a deliberate, calculated strategy emanating from the nation's capital.
Sunday, April 02, 2006
My, my the "brillant" folks in DC sure think slower than the rest of us, and I guess they were behind the door when common sense was passed out. I guess someone just snapped to this in a flash of brillance. To quote Homer Simpson: Doh!